Bomber girls take care of Tigers for first RRC win: No. 3 Ballard also whips Norwalk

Joe Randleman
Tri-County Times
Brooke Loewe went for a game-high 19 points for the No. 3 (4A) Ballard girls in their 44-24 victory over Adel-Desoto-Minburn Friday on senior night in Huxley.

HUXLEY - It wasn’t pretty, but the Ballard girls got the job done against Adel-Desoto-Minburn on senior night Friday.

The Bombers, ranked third in Class 4A, gutted out a 44-24 victory over the Tigers in a game that was closer than the final score indicated. A-D-M came out looking to slow the game down and prevent Ballard from getting too many easy baskets in transition and it worked for stretches in both the first and second half.

It took nearly four minutes before either team got on the scoreboard. Then Ballard went on a big run to go up 11-0, but A-D-M quickly settled things back down.

The Tigers clawed their way back to within three after an Olivia Tollari basket made the score 15-12. The Bombers only led by six at the half and A-D-M was still within 10 early in the fourth quarter.

“We’re going to see that,” Ballard head coach Kelly Anderson said. “If they can’t line up and go head-to-head with us then they’re going to try different things. Credit to them, it worked for a while.”

In addition to slowing the pace A-D-M also did a nice job finding holes in Ballard’s defense by taking advantage of the Bombers’ aggressiveness.

“I’m disappointed in our defense overall tonight,” Anderson said. “When we work on that back-door cut we understand that basically the only place they’re going to score is in the lane and then we let them score in the lane.”

But fortunately for Ballard they have one of the best backcourts in the entire state.

Molly Ihle made sure the defense came through when it needed to in the fourth quarter. She came up with a couple big steals and really disrupted A-D-M’s offensive game plan to give Ballard the spark it needed to pull away.

“Our heart and soul is Molly,” Anderson said. “She’s just a fighter.”

The entire Bomber defense fed off Ihle’s energy in the fourth quarter. 

“When she gets up and starts playing tough on people everyone else does it as well,” Loewe said. “It just works. Everyone just flows off of Molly’s energy.”

Ihle, who ended up with eight points, five steals and four assists and rebounds apiece, stressed that Ballard never gave up trying to force the action against A-D-M. The Bombers did eventually wear the Tigers down, ending the game on a 12-2 run.

“We still have to talk on defense and get up in their shorts and then make the other team go faster than they want to go,” Ihle said. “If you just contain them and make them frantic that leads to turnovers. Then you get layups.”

The beneficiary of most of those easier baskets was Loewe.

Loewe failed to score in double digits during Ballard’s first two games. She had 12 points last Tuesday against Norwalk then took it to another level Friday with a game-high 19 points.

“I think she was just playing too tense at the beginning of the year,” Anderson said. “We finally got her to lighten up a little bit and just have fun and play. That’s what she’s capable of doing when she does play like that.”

 Loewe constantly burned A-D-M with a running left-handed floater in the lane.

“She has a quick first step so she usually blows by a lot of people,” Ihle said. “Then she has a little floater and it usually goes in. She’s a good little athlete.”

Loewe likes the shot - as long as she makes it.

“It’s good when it goes in,” Loewe said. “Then we can get back up in the press and start getting steals.”

Loewe also had three assists and two steals. Josie Fleischmann put up 10 points and two steals, Meg Rietz seven points and one assist, Ashley Wuestenberg three steals and two rebounds and Cassidy Thompson two steals and one block.

The victory put Ballard at 4-0 on the season and 2-0 in the Raccoon River Conference. The fight the Bombers received on Friday might be just what they needed heading into a tough game against Bondurant-Farrar next Tuesday and with No. 2 Gilbert coming up just before Christmas.

“They had to hang in there and keep playing hard,” Anderson said. “They got it done.”

A-D-M fell to 2-2 overall and 1-1 in the conference. Nicole Storck had 10 points and Claire Greenslade four points, six rebounds and five assists for the Tigers.

Ballard 44, A-D-M 24

ADM     4   10     6     4 - 24

B         13     7   12   12 - 44

ADM (24) - Grace Hardcastle 3-6 0-0 6, Aniston Smith 1-3 0-0 2, Claire Greenslade 2-3 0-0 4, Olivia Tollari 1-2 0-0 2, Nicole Storck 4-7 2-4 10, Abby Gonzalez 0-0 0-0 0, Julia Case 0-0 0-0 0, Cameran Smith 0-0 0-0 0. Totals: 11-21 2-4 24. 3-point field goals: None. Rebounds (19): Greenslade 6. Assists (7): Greenslade 5. Steals (4): Hardcastle 2. Blocks (1): Storck. Fouls: 8.

Ballard (44) - Brooke Loewe 9-16 0-0 19, Josie Fleischmann 3-7 2-2 10, Molly Ihle 2-4 2-2 8, Meg Rietz 3-5 0-0 7, Ashley Wuestenberg 0-2 0-0 0, Kylie Rigby 0-4 0-0 0, Lily Hillebrand 0-1 0-0 0, Sydney Briggs 0-0 0-0 0, Cassidy Thompson 0-2 0-0 0. Totals: 17-41 4-4 44. 3point field goals (6): Fleischmann 2, Ihle 2, Loewe, Rietz. Rebounds (15): Ihle 4. Assists (10): Ihle 4. Steals (15): Ihle 5. Blocks (1): Thompson. Fouls :12. 

HUXLEY - A suffocating defense helped No. 3 Ballard easily overcome an off shooting night to trounce Norwalk, 46-15, Dec. 1.

The Bombers held the Warriors to 23 % shooting from the field and forced 33 turnovers in improving to 3-0 on the season. Ballard only gave up three points in each of the first three quarters in building a 15-point lead and then scored 19 points in the fourth to pull away.

Brooke Loewe and Molly Ihle both had six steals for Ballard in the victory. Loewe also had 12 points, three rebounds and two assists and Ihle five points, five rebounds and three assists.

Josie Fleischmann hit three 3-pointers and finished with 11 points and three assists. Meg Rietz had six points and three assists and steals apiece, Kylie Rigby put up six points off the bench and Cassidy Thompson tacked on four points, three rebounds, three steals and two blocks.

Meg Rietz gets caught between Adel-Desoto-Minburn's Nicole Storck (13) and Olivia Tollari during No. 3 Ballard's 44-24 win over A-D-M Friday in Huxley. Rietz scored seven points against the Tigers and she also put up six points in a 46-15 Bomber victory over Norwalk Dec. 1 at Huxley.

Lily Hillebrand added two points and Ashley Wuestenberg and Lily Beall two rebounds apiece for Ballard.

Jocelyn Bice had eight points and six rebounds and Ava Johnson seven points as the only two players who scored for Norwalk.

Ballard 46, Norwalk 15

N     3     3    3     6 - 15

B    13    8    6   19 - 46

Norwalk (15) - Jayden Lammers 0-0 0-0 0, Lexi Soukup 0-1 0-0 0, Joceyln Bice 3-10 1-3 8,Emma Soukup 0-1 0-0 0, Ava Johnson 2-9 2-4 7, Anna Larson 0-1 0-0 0, McKenzie Koerselman 0-0 0-0 0, Kaylee Cary 0-0 0-0 0, Lily Hughes 0-0 0-0 0. Totals: 5-22 3-7 15. 3-point field goals (2): Bice, Johnson. Rebounds (17): Bice 6. Assists (2): E. Soukup, Larson. Steals (4): L. Soukup 2. Blocks (1): E. Soukup. Fouls: 8.

Ballard (46) - Brooke Loewe 4-10 3-3 12, Meg Rietz 3-6 0-0 6, Cassidy Thompson 2-6 0-0 4, Josie Fleischmann 3-10 2-2 11, Molly Ihle 2-11 0-0 5, Paityn Noe 0-1 0-0 0, Kylie Rigby 2-4 1-1 6, Lily Beall 0-0 0-0 0, Sydney Briggs 0-1 0-0 0, Ashley Wuestenberg 0-1 0-2 0, Lily Hillebrand 1-4 0-0 2. Totals: 17-54 6-8 46. 3-point field goals (6): Fleischmann 3, Loewe, Ihle, Rigby. Rebounds (27): Ihle 5. Assists (13): Rietz 3, Fleischmann 3, Ihle 3. Steals (22): Loewe 6, Ihle 6. Blocks (3): Thompson 2, Rietz. Fouls: 12.